The Lancashire Evening Post, Monday, 31st January 2005
Want to be a mill-ionaire?
The classy new face at the gateway to soaring, vibrant Preston By Louise Davies Business Reporter
These exclusive pictures offer the first glimpse inside Preston’s biggest luxury flat conversion.

Residents are set to move into the apartments at the former Grade II listed Horrockses Mill site off New Hall lane in a matter of weeks.

The facelift, the biggest residential property conversion the city has seen, is a milestone for the regeneration of the gateway to Preston.

The Centenary Mill has been transformed from a dilapidated eyesore into a mini-estate complete with basement car park and a £1m, resident only gym.

Demand for trendy city centre living was such that developers, The Mandale Group, sold all of the 203 flats at the site in just six weeks.

The apartments have each cost between £110,000 and £160,000.

Horrockses Mill
Adrian Robins, residential sales manager at Mandale, said: “The development is Preston’s biggest residential conversion and we believe it will make a huge difference to the city.

“In cities across the North we have found developments like this lift the whole area and give it a new face.

The former mill had become derelict and it was long labelled an “eyesore” by residents and city elders.

Councillor Veronica Afrin, executive member for regeneration, community and leisure, said: “We are delighted this development has been successfully completed.

“It has regenerated a real blot on the landscape and it is the beginning of a great future for Hew Hall Lane with a mixed development of more flats and shops planned also. The most important thing is that we can give a better impression to people coming in and out of Preston along this major gateway.”

Graham Penticost, chief executive of Preston City Centre Management, said: “The Horrockses Mill project is a great commitment to the regeneration of Preston. New residents moving into another luxury home development just reiterates my prediction that 2005 is the stepping stone to great things in Preston.”

Julian D’Arcy, Northern manager for upmarket property specialists Knight Frank, said high quality housing brings prestige and affluence to the city.

He said: “Preston is beginning to feed off the regeneration success in its neighbouring cities like Manchester and Liverpool. High quality flats bring prestige and money as they set off a chain of development in other areas. Businesses are much more likely to take the decision to move into Preston if there is high quality housing and services for their staff.

Click on images if you would like to see inside the luxury flats [the file size is 130K].

Horrockses Mill - A Brief History

• John Horrocks, brother of Preston MP Samuel, founded the cotton firm in 1791.
• He opened a further seven cotton mills in Preston over the following ten years.
• The company built Centenary Mill, a spinning unit, in 1891 to mark the business’s 100th anniversary.
• It cost £125,000 to build, the equivalent of £40 Million today, using a revolutionary steel frame construction.
• By 1913 it employed 6,500 staff working on 7,500 looms.
• Horrockses cottons and fashions were renowned around the world and worn by the queen.
• In 1962 Horreckses Yard Works in Stanley Street, Preston, closed down.
• Horrockses long association with Preston finally ended in 1990.
• In 1997, Prince Charles supported a failed council scheme to revitalise Horrockses Mill as a fashion centre.

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© The Lancashire Evening Post, January 2005